40 Life Lessons From a 40 Year Old

40 Life Lessons From a 40 Year Old

Today, Jun 26, 2023, I turned 40 years old 🥳️

If you’re a youth soccer player reading this then you might think I’m ancient. If you’re a parent, I know you feel my pain and excitement. The 10-year milestones are big 😉

As my friends have learned, I don’t like to celebrate my birthdays. I’d rather keep it low-key, eat some tacos, and just go about my day.

This birthday hits (as the kids say) a little differently though. I’ve spent four decades on this Earth and have experienced many life-changing events.

Things that seemed terrible at the time but turned out to be a blessing (i.e. – divorce and remarried). Or, losing a parent and then having a complete shift in perspective. Or, excelling in soccer and basketball as a kid and then using it to help my son’s development. Or, taking a shot at my own business (3 years and running).

So, with that said, I’d like to pass on forty life lessons to my readers. These lessons were first intended for my 13-year-old son but I’d like to share them with anyone who may benefit from it.

Here we go👇

40 Life Lessons That Can Help Improve Your Life

  1. We only have this one life…live it doing mostly what you want. Of course, there are responsibilities that you have to do but that should be a smaller percentage of your week.
  2. Living in the moment is hard but it’s so worth it. Depending on your thoughts, living in the past will make you instantly feel sad/depressed, and living too far in the future will quickly bring you anxiety. Living in the moment feels just right.


  3. Your personal brand matters at any age – be a good person on and off the field.
  4. Accept who are and be uniquely you. No one is better at being you.
  5. It’s okay to walk onto the soccer field thinking you’re the best. This will help you build more confidence in life. But, understand, even the best players get better by spending hours working on their craft.
  6. Try to avoid making big decisions on the spot. In most cases, you’ll be able to sleep on it. You’ll be able to find the time to take the emotion out of it which usually leads to a better decision.
  7. Keep moving…even if you don’t think there’s a point to it. Momentum in anything will help you reach your goals. Spend 7 minutes dribbling. Take 5 shots if that’s all the time you have. Anything is better than zero.
  8. Keep stacking. Compounding comes from adding more without stopping. For example, you’ll be a better soccer player if you consistently work on the fundamentals every day rather than learn an ‘awesome trick’ one week and then learn another trick the next week. Instead, work on dribbling in tight spaces for every day for a month.
  9. Time is the most precious resource. If you are a youth soccer player reading this…enjoy being a kid. 24 hours is a lot of time to be a soccer player and a kid.
  10. Don’t take things too seriously. Life flows better when you allow things to bounce off of you.
  11. You’re capable of anything! If someone before you has done it then you can too. It just requires lots of effort and passion to pursue that goal.
  12. Value your opinion of yourself over anyone else. Other people aren’t following you around 24/7 so they don’t understand the entire picture of your life.
  13. Make optimism your default state. I believe this can be learned and developed.
  14. Love the process of improvement. Brick by brick, getting better at something (like soccer) should be enjoyable.
  15. What you did last year doesn’t really matter. Again, today is really the only thing that matters.
  16. Surround yourself with loving and positive people. Cut out the pessimists and haters. Do this sooner than later.
  17. Try to eat healthy. I say try because eating healthy is challenging. Try to eat more natural foods than packaged foods every day. You don’t need to be a caveman or cavewoman.
  18. Thank your parents and coaches as much as you can. Someday they won’t be alongside you. And, they invest their time to benefit you.
  19. Be grateful for everything you have even if it is something small like being able to shower every morning or having clean water. This is a luxury in some parts of the world.
  20. Don’t desire too much. This is when people become frustrated with life. Instead, understand that you have everything you need. The thing you want is just the icing on the cake of life.
  21. Try to keep records of your soccer highlights every year. It’s fun to look back at the progress.
  22. Find other passions in life besides soccer. Yes, soccer will probably take up a lot of time but you also want to fill the other hours with something you enjoy.
  23. Limit your phone time and certain apps. Our brains weren’t wired to swipe every second on a new TikTok or IG video. Read a book every night. You can rewire your brain in 2-3 weeks. It will also help you make better and quicker decisions on the field.
  24. Winning does matter. It helps you compete and make it a point to improve. But, having fun is the most important thing you should be pursuing.
  25. Love yourself first. You’ll be a joy to be around and naturally show love to others.
  26. Be kind to new players on the team or at school. It’s hard to be the new kid when everyone else knows each other. Acceptance can go a long way.
  27. New cleats won’t make you a better player. Becoming the best version of yourself will.
  28. Find time to spend quality one-on-one time with your parents, siblings, teammates, friends, etc. Just the two of you without any distractions. You’ll thank me later.
  29. Listen to your body. If you are in pain or have aches, take some time off from physically demanding activities.
  30. It’s okay to be a multi-sport athlete. It’s also okay to focus on one sport. Either avenue will prove valuable if you absolutely enjoy it.
  31. Stretch every day. Even if it’s for only 5 minutes. It will do your body good.
  32. Be open about how you are feeling. Try not to bottle it in. You don’t want to get to a point where it’s just going to explode. If your parents don’t listen to you, seek a friend.
  33. Realize if someone is teasing or being mean to you that they are probably struggling inside. There’s a reason why they are doing that. It’s not your place to figure it out. Just understand that it’s not you.
  34. Hug your pet. It will always make you feel better.
  35. Control your emotions the best you can and you control your life.
  36. Doing the boring and hard work is when you make progress. Aim to do the stuff other people think they are too good for.
  37. Try to bond with your friends and teammates. It will help you become a better person and player. Striving for something as part of a pack is what our ancestors used to do. Improve as a tribe during the week and go for the W on the weekends.
  38. Understand that almost anything in life is not life-or-death. We just make it so in our heads.
  39. Do the thing. If there’s something you want to do…go do it! Don’t let yourself hold you back from becoming a remarkable human being. Push yourself every day so you will have fewer regrets on your deathbed.
  40. The world is fixed but you are adaptable. For example, the weather is going to be what it is. But, as a soccer player, you can adjust to the conditions rather than fight it.

There you go! From my experiences and thoughts to you. I hope you enjoy these lessons and it helps you enjoy life some more.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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